Gianni Morbidelli says that he is sure of “big potential” in the TCR concept, after reflecting on the first two events of the TCR International Series in Malaysia and China.
Morbidelli changed series from the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in 2014 to the newly-formed TCR International Series in 2015. However, even before his deal was fully put together for this season, the Italian says that he was already convinced of Marcello Lotti’s new series.
“Before the start of the season there were a lot of doubts, and a lot of question marks, but I think in two races we showed that we have a nice championship and I’m sure of a big potential,” said Morbidelli to TouringCars.Net. “It will grow up a lot and I’m sure that in a couple of years it will be an incredible championship, because the potential is massive.
“The level of teams and drivers is already good, and I think we offered a nice show during the first two events. We were able to produce a lot of fights, and this is what the people like and appreciate. They want to see a fight and not some championship which is so boring that one driver just leads the whole race long. From a championship you expect a big fight.”
“I believed immediately when Lotti said to me about the championship – I was sure that he was preparing something great. I know the guy, I know the experience that he has. Of course it’s new, you have to accept that there are still some little problems and some parts that we have to improve, but it’s normal. They have a good organisation.”
When quizzed about the differences with his Honda Civic TCR car compared to his previous steeds, the experienced Italian emphasised that the variance was not too significant when driving on the limit.
“It’s not a big difference in terms of performance, but every single car is difficult to drive to the maximum level,” added Morbidelli. “It doesn’t matter if we have 50 horsepower less or fewer aerodynamics – people want to see a good show and want to see a championship where all the cars have a good balance, where the performance is similar and where you can produce a good fight between each other. This is the key of this championship.
“The car is quite nice to drive, but it’s always difficult to find the balance with a front-wheel drive car. For a driver with a background like mine it’s better to drive a rear-wheel drive car, because my past was always with rear-wheel drive. But I’ve started to gain confidence and to work well with the team.”